Minimal Wave is honored to present a reissue of Sympathy Nervous’ pioneering debut album originally released in 1980 on Vanity Records out of Japan. Sympathy Nervous was Yosihumi Niinuma’s lifelong project which he started in his Tokyo living room in 1979. Through Sympathy Nervous, Niinuma was able to channel his energy into what he loved – building his own synthesizers and speakers from scratch. Niinuma was inspired by German Krautrock and through his music created intense proto-techno soundscapes. Now finally available for the first time ever, remastered from the original tapes used for the 1980 release, is the timeless masterpiece in its entirety. This is a momentous occasion and we are happy that Niinuma and his family have entrusted us with this gem of an album. The Sympathy Nervous LP will be pressed on 180 gram vinyl featuring updated artwork themed from the original release, along with an insert sleeve with an unpublished photograph of Niinuma at work in his studio.
About his set up, Niimuma says: “The reason it takes over five hours to set up is because all of our synthesizers’ modules are separate. I take and control each part with a UCG, ‘Universal Character Generator.’ I actually gave it that name myself. There are a lot of people using this technique elsewhere, but it hasn’t been systemized as a popular method here in Japan so I just call it that. In the end, I’m taking everything that used to be done by human hands – like giving it a vibrato or adding sounds – and automating it with a clock. Our system is going to continue growing like plants! I can take my computer and do some lengthy programming, and even clean my echoes. But with the system we have right now, we have to spend time connecting each line. Since it takes four or five wires for each module, it would take up to 70 to 100 wires to do all songs. That’s why the set up takes so long, although of course it’s mostly simply about getting used to it.”
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